Citrix report reveals most mobile subscribers are clueless about how they consume data

Summary:Based on a new report from Citrix, it looks like many mobile users in the U.S. don't exactly know much about how they are consuming data.

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While there is plenty of discussion about consumers possibly not knowing how their personal data is being used, a new survey highlights that mobile users might not know what they're doing themselves in the first place.

Mobile and cloud solutions provider Citrix and its new subsidiary ByteMobile have published a new report about mobile subscriber behaviors that influence and determine the quality of experience for mobile data services today.

According to the Citrix ByteMobile Mobile Analytics Report, there is a giant gap between what mobile device owners think they know about their devices and plans -- and how they are actually consuming data.

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Here is a glimpse at some of the more surprising findings:

  • Mobile advertisements take up approximately one percent of a subscriber's monthly data volume. Nevertheless, 61 percent of smartphone or tablet owners still think that mobile ads don't actually count against monthly data limits.
  • The majority of mobile video consumed is low-resolution, with roughly 92 percent seen at less than 360p. However, 64 percent of subscribers believe what they are watching is primarily high-resolution.
  • Mobile users aren't sure who to blame when it comes to slow loading websites, with 51 percent pointing the blame at the mobile providers while 49 percent blame the website.

This last one might be debatable, but 55 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 also affirmed that they trust the Internet more over their parents when it comes to "how-to" advice.

Discoveries like these are important for a number of reasons. For one, research like this does in fact get analyzed and used by everyone along the mobile chain when it comes to building mobile technologies and improving the user experience.

It's also important because it reflects a dire lack of awareness by consumers as to how they are consuming data and where data consumption is going. Just last week, Cisco published a report predicting that mobile Internet data traffic is going to grow 13-fold in just four years. That also raises more questions about security, meeting network capacity demands , and so on.

But for the purposes of Citrix's research, the point of the study is to convey to service providers how they could better differentiate, manage, and monetize increasing volumes of traffic.

For reference, the report is based on a survey, conducted by Wakefield Research, of 1,000 U.S. smartphone and tablet owners ages 18 and older between January 8 and January 15, 2013.

Image via Citrix

Topics: Big Data, Data Management, Mobility, Smartphones, Tablets

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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